Following the invitation to oriGIn and its members, on 28-29 June 2016 the “Consejo Regulador del Tequila” (CRT) participated in the EDB Forum 2016 organized in Alicante by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EDB is a powerful tool for the protection intellectual property rights (including GIs) in the EU, providing to Police and customs officials of the 28 Member States full access to view information and product details, making it easier for them to identify counterfeits and take action against them. The EDB Forum gathered intellectual property right holders, customs and police forces from the 28 EU Member States as well as representatives of the European Commission, Europol and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
In a presentation delivered at the workshop on “Enforcement in the internal market”, the CRT presented its successful collaboration with the EU public authorities, which allowed to detect illicit trade activities in the EU and destroy counterfeited Tequila marketed in the internal market. Likewise, the CRT participated in the “Exhibition on counterfeits” organized in the framework of the Forum, where it had the possibility, together with other right holders and beneficiaries, to show enforcement authorities authentic products as well as examples of counterfeited ones, and explain them how to distinguish them with the help of the information included in the EDB.
On 1 July, a new Penal Code (Penal Code 2015) entered into force in Vietnam, which introduces important changes in IP-related provisions that strengthen the legal basis and the IPR criminal enforcement system to provide effective protection to IPRs, including GIs.
More specifically, to facilitate prosecution of IPRs infringers, the amended Penal Code has new provisions applying criminal liability and criminal sanctions to legal entities for several crimes, among them:
The penal Code 2015 also clarifies the application of criminal measures regarding piracy and counterfeiting, by deleting the reference to the criterion of “commercial scale” to apply criminal sanctions to acts intentionally infringing the rights deriving from a trademark or a GI. Furthermore, it provides for new, lower thresholds with respect to the crimes of manufacturing and trading in counterfeit and infringing goods. A detailed analysis is available @ http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=9d8c20e5-6128-467c-aa99-3751a75ec49b
Meanwhile, the “Consorzio del formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano”, in its efforts to protect the GI it represents in various markets around the world, had to oppose before the Vietnamese competent office trademarks’ applications containing the names “Reggianto”, “Parmesan” and “Parmigiano Reggiano”. More information @ Press Release. In this respect, it is worth recalling that, in August 2015, the EU and Vietnam concluded a free trade agreement, which provides as well a chapter on GIs protection (http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1437). Such an agreement though is not yet into force.
Early in July, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) met trading houses, coffee companies and major roasters, as well as industry associations in Japan, which is the second destination of Colombian coffee exports (after the United States) with over 1.3 million 60-kg bags in 2015, and the main destination of the FNC exports. In addition, Japan is the fourth coffee consumer in the world and a strategic partner of the FNC that appreciates quality of Colombian coffee and is an innovative market in preparation of coffee drinks.
In this context, the FNC intends to protect Café de Colombia as a GI in Japan under the national legislation (on the Japanese sui generis GI law, see the oriGIn analysis )
More information @ Café de Colombia is Promoted in Japan by the FNC CEO